A member of the Oliver Fire Department works on the wildfire near the Cottages at Osoyoos Lake on Tuesday night. The fire is believed to have been caused by a human. (Oliver Fire Department Facebook)

UPDATE: Osoyoos wildfire believed to be human-caused

The Oliver Fire department also responded to another fire along the hike and bike trail on Saturday

Update 1:30 p.m.:

The wildfire near the Cottages at Osoyoos Lake is believed to have been human caused, according to a post by the Oliver Fire Department on April 14.

Some smoke and hot spots may have been visible overnight until BC Wildfire’s crew arrived in the morning to work on the remainder of the fire.

“With little rain so far this year, the valley bottom is looking very dry so everyone needs to take care to help prevent fires,” reads the post.

Original Story:

The Oliver Fire Department is continuing to stay busy, with another fire along the trail on Saturday and a wildfire the size of a football field on Tuesday.

The department was called out around 8 p.m. to handle the wildfire because BC Wildfire didn’t have a team ready yet to respond.

“When we arrived it was about a football field-sized brush fire near a vineyard in that area,” said Oliver Fire Department spokesman Rob Graham. “We knocked down the perimeter then let it burn itself out. The wind was driving it back on the area that had already been burned.”

READ MORE: Fire rips through shop in small South Okanagan town

The fire was in the hills up Nk’Mip and Radio Tower Road, past the Cottages near Osoyoos Lake. Firefighters stayed on the scene for two hours before they felt it safe to leave.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, with members of BC Wildfire heading out on Wednesday to finish mopping up and remaining hot spots.

There was no risk of the fire spreading to any structures in the area.

On Saturday, April 10, there was a second fire in a week along the bike and hike trail in Oliver.

READ MORE: Oliver Fire Department extinguishes two fires in two days

“It was off the trail by the river, in the area of Park Rill and Island Way Road,” said Graham. “It’s not the same area, but it is along the same side, maybe a kilometre or two north of the previous fire.”

The cause of the fire is also under investigation, and believe to have been human-caused.

So far, the department has already seen a much higher number of calls than usual for this time of year.

“We’ve had a lot of questions about how the year already looks with all of the grassfires and fires that have been in the area,” said Graham. “The amount of calls we’ve had is excessive for us at this time of year.”

According to the BC Wildfire dashboard, there have been 44 wildfires across the province so far this year.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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